Dr Geoffrey Kira staff profile picture

Contact details +6449793974

Dr Geoffrey Kira PhD

Senior Lecturer

School of Health Sciences

Dr Kira has a background in exercise physiology and biochemistry with a strong emphasis in practical applications and translational research. He is a senior Māori health researcher in the fields of exercise, nutrition and sleep and applying them for optimal health and wellness. Dr Kira specialises in applying mātauranga Māori and science to obtain the most promising outcomes from that interface. Given the low number of Māori health researchers in his field, Dr Kira enthusiastically promotes postgradute study and the utility of science and mātauranga Māori for the benefit of those that are disadvantaged


Contact details

  • Ph: 04 979 3974
    Location: 7.07 (level 7), Social Science Tower
    Campus: Turitea, Manawatū


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Auckland University of Technology (2010)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

My research interests are broad and are not confined to any one field. Generally, my research can be classified as public and community health, and is usually prevention-focussed with a social justice approach. The outcomes of most studies are direct health benefits for children, whether working in the school setting or at home (Families/whanau). My exercise physiology background suits the phsyical activity and fitness studies I undertake, but I have also conducted studies in Public health nutrition and sleep hygiene. 

Research Opportunities

  • Spontaneous play as physical activity  (01/06/2019) Encouraging intrinsic spontaneous children's play with or without equipment as a way to promote physical activity and confer physiological health benefits. Masters level to doctoral studies.
  • Community-based food security  (01/01/2019) Identify, develop, and test community-based food security programmes in a first world country
  • Complementary food systems  (01/01/2019) The conventional food system (primary production and distributors etc) are an entrenched food system. Complementary food systems such as food recovery is a way to lessen environmental impact.
  • The influence of mDNA on physical fitness  (01/01/2019) NZ Maori have a special mitochondrial profile that may confer special characteristics in the adaptation to physical stress.
  • Traditional Maori foods as a treatment for metabolic conditions  (01/01/2019) The traditional diet for the NZ Maori is postulated to be low in saturated, rich in omega fats, and high in plant polyphenols.


Health and Well-being, Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Community Child Health (111704): Exercise Physiology (110602): Human Movement and Sports Science (110600): Maori Health (111713): Medical And Health Sciences (110000): Nutrition and Dietetics (111100): Preventive Medicine (111716): Public Health and Health Services (111700): Public Nutrition Intervention (111104)


Maori health; Exercise physiology; Sleep hygiene; Public health nutrition, Food and nutrition security, cardiac rehabilitation; physical activity and fitness

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 3 6

Current Projects

Project Title: He Pataka Marohi - the feasibility of novel and conventional instruments

Date Range: 2019 - 2021

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Completed Projects

Project Title: HRC - Transforming nutrition and food security in New Zealand: enabling communities - Geoffrey Kira

Date Range: 2017 - 2019

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Project Title: Tupuna Kai - Reconnecting New Zealand Maori with the Benefits of Traditional Food - MAUX1413

Date Range: 2015 - 2017

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

Research Outputs


Glover, M., Kira, A., McRobbie, H., Kruger, R., Funaki-Tahifote, M., Stephen, J., . . . Kira, G. (2021). Outcomes of a culturally informed weight-loss competition for New Zealand Indigenous and Pacific peoples: a quasi-experimental trial. BMC Nutrition. 7(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G., Kruger, R.
Starck, CS., Blumfield, M., Keighley, T., Marshall, S., Petocz, P., Inan-Eroglu, E., . . . Fayet-Moore, F. (2021). Nutrient dense, low-cost foods can improve the affordability and quality of the new zealand diet—a substitution modeling study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18(15)
[Journal article]Authored by: Ali, A., Kira, G., Kruger, R., Wham, C.
Kira, G., Kira, A., & Pokaia, V. (2021). Access and consumption of fruit and vegetables for people living in a deprived neighborhood in New Zealand: a cross-sectional study. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Glover, M., Kira, A., Kira, G., McRobbie, H., Breier, BH., Kruger, R., . . . Funaki-Tahifote, M. (2017). An innovative team-based weightloss competition to reduce cardiovascular and diabetes risk among Maori and Pacific people: Rationale and method for the study and its evaluation. BMC Nutrition. 3(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G., Kruger, R.
Bell, R., Smith, C., Hale, L., Kira, G., & Tumilty, S. (2017). Understanding obesity in the context of an Indigenous population—A qualitative study. Obesity Research and Clinical Practice. 11(5), 558-566
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Kira, G., Doolan-Noble, F., Humphreys, G., Williams, G., O’Shaughnessy, H., & Devlin, G. (2016). A national survey of cardiac rehabilitation services in New Zealand: 2015. New Zealand Medical Journal. 129(1435), 50-58
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Bell, R., Tumilty, S., Kira, G., Smith, C., & Hale, L. (2016). Using a community based participatory research model within an indigenous framework to establish an exploratory platform of investigation into obesity. Obesity Medicine. 2, 19-24
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Maddison, R., Pfaeffli, L., Whittaker, R., Stewart, R., Kerr, A., Jiang, Y., . . . Rawstorn, J. (2015). A mobile phone intervention increases physical activity in people with cardiovascular disease: Results from the HEART randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 22(6), 701-709
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Kira, G., Maddison, R., Hull, M., Blunden, S., & Olds, T. (2014). Sleep education improves the sleep duration of adolescents: A randomized controlled pilot study. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 10(7), 787-792
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Stoner, L., Shultz, SP., Lambrick, DM., Krebs, J., Weatherall, M., Palmer, BR., . . . Williams, MA. (2013). The combating obesity in Māori and Pasifika adolescent school-children study: COMPASS methodology and study protocol. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 4(5), 565-579
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G., Palmer, B.
Pfaeffli, L., Maddison, R., Whittaker, R., Stewart, R., Kerr, A., Jiang, Y., . . . Dalleck, L. (2012). A mHealth cardiac rehabilitation exercise intervention: findings from content development studies.. BMC cardiovascular disorders. 12
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Blunden, S., Kira, G., Hull, M., & Maddison, R. (2012). Does sleep education change sleep parameters? comparing sleep education trials for middle school students in Australia and New Zealand. The Open Sleep Journal. 5, 12-18
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Maddison, R., Whittaker, R., Stewart, R., Kerr, A., Jiang, Y., Kira, G., . . . Pfaeffli, L. (2011). HEART: Heart exercise and remote technologies: A randomized controlled trial study protocol. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders. 11
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Graham, D., Kira, G., Conaglen, J., McLennan, S., & Rush, E. (2009). Vitamin D status of Year 3 children and supplementation through schools with fortified milk. Public Health Nutrition. 12(12), 2329-2334
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Rush, EC., Scragg, R., Schaaf, D., Juranovich, G., & Plank, LD. (2009). Indices of fatness and relationships with age, ethnicity and lipids in New Zealand European, Māori and Pacific children.. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 63(5), 627-633
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.
Graham, D., Kira, G., Conaglen, J., McLennan, S., & Rush, E. (2009). Vitamin D status of Year 3 children and supplementation through schools with fortified milk. Public Health Nutrition. 12(12), 2329-2334 Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/gkira/AppData/Local/Mendeley%20Ltd/Mendeley%20Desktop/Downloaded/Graham%20et%20al.%20-%202009%20-%20Vitamin%20D%20status%20of%20Year%203%20children%20and%20supplementation%20through%20schools%20with%20fortified%20milk.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Kira, G.


Kira, GDJ. (2017). A utopia of food systems. In The New Zealand Land and Food Annual Volume 2,2017. (pp. 63 - 80). : Massey University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Kira, G.


Humphreys, G., Kira, GDJ., Doolan Noble, F., Williams, G., O'Shaughnessy, H., & Devlin, G.(2015). The cardiac rehabilitation services survey of New Zealand - 2015. : Heart Foundation of New Zealand
[Technical Report]Authored by: Kira, G.
Kira, GDJ., & Kira, A.(2014). SECTION 5: Review of published literature. Auckland: University of Auckland
[Technical Report]Authored by: Kira, G.


Glover, MP., Kira, A., Kira, G., Funaki-Tahifote, M., McRobbie, H., Breier, B., . . . Shortland, M. (2017). Reducing Cardiovascular And Diabetes Among Māori And Pacific People Using A Team Weight Loss Competition.. , 15th World Congress on Public Health
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Kira, G., Kruger, R.
Kira, GDJ., & Kira, AC. (2016). Barriers and facilitators to uptake and attendance of secondary prevention - the experience of indigenous New Zealanders. Heart, Lung and Circulation. Vol. 25 (pp. S313 - S313). : CSANZ2016
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Kira, G.

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Co-supervisor 0 1

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Sharon Awatere - Doctor of Philosophy
    “I like to be treated like a person, a little smile never costs a thing” Weaving kaumātua experiences of living with osteoarthritis in Hawke’s Bay, Aotearoa New Zealand into a collaborative Osteoarthritis-Management Toolkit